The Role of the Governors:

The school governors are volunteers and give their time freely.  They bring a range of skills and experience to supporting the school and are committed to the school’s values and standards. Although the governors oversee the school, they do not run it: that is the head’s job.

As governors we have a range of roles and responsibilities.

Working with the head we set the strategic direction for the school, establishing the school’s aims and objectives and how we want the school to develop and improve to the benefit of all our children.

The governors are there to support and challenge the school’s leadership team.  It is our job to hold the head teacher to account to ensure the best possible outcomes for our children.  We do this in a constructive and positive fashion by rigorous questioning and challenge.

It is the governors’ responsibility to oversee the finances of the school, to agree the annual budget, and to ensure that money is well spent in line with the school’s priorities.

The governors have a responsibility to ensure that the school complies with all relevant legislation and regulations, especially safeguarding.

The governors appoint the headteacher and review the headteacher’s performance.

Working with the headteacher and the school’s senior leadership, the governors are there to ensure that our children are safe and have every opportunity to flourish and grow at St Gregory’s into resilient and confident learners, and that our school remains at the centre of our community into the future.

What Skills do You Need to be an Effective Governor?

It is important that each governor can use their skills in the governor’s meetings. Some of the skills that are important are as follows:

  • Listening
  • Organising
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Teamworking 
  • Governors who have life experience and transferrable work skills (such as I.T, accounting and legal) can also make an important contribution to the work of the Governing Body

But the most important thing is ENTHUSIASM!  

Interested in becoming a Governor?  Please contact our Chair:

Meet Our Governors:


Chair: Mr Nick Chapman – appointed until Jan 2025

Chair of governors; member of Finance Committee and Quality of Learning Committee, Governor responsible for Safeguarding; subject link governor for English and the Humanities.

I was appointed chair of governors in 2018 having re-joined the governing body in 2016.  I was chair of governors previously when my two daughters were at the school so have had a long and affectionate involvement with St Gregory’s.

My career has been in publishing and media in London and Dublin as a Managing Director of BBC Worldwide and Member of the BBC Board of management, and as Managing Director of The Irish Times, Ireland’s leading newspaper.

Since settling in North Dorset with my family I have served as Chair of the Trustee Board of St Margaret’s Hospice Somerset and as a Non-Executive Director of Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust.  The school is now my priority and I very much enjoy working with my fellow governors, the head and her team and being in school with the children.


Vice Chair, Foundation Governor: Mrs Sharon Martin

I was invited to join the Board at St Gregory’s School as a Foundation Governor, and was appointed in May 2021. I was elected as a churchwarden in May 2022.

Before moving to Marnhull in June 2020 with my husband to be nearer to family, I worked as a teacher and then a senior leader for over 30 years in several independent primary schools in North London and the suburbs. I spent time with every age group, from Reception to Year 6 and beyond, and have taught a range of subjects.

Having been brought up in a small, friendly community in the North of England, I am so glad we have made our home here – everyone says hello! We were quickly made very welcome by our new neighbours, by Reverend Gaenor and the congregation at St Gregory’s. We were also both made very welcome by the cricket club; I enjoy scoring for the 3s sometimes when my other half is playing. Our two Labs get us out walking every day, which has been another good way to get to know the village and meet people – and they like popping into the pub for a biscuit too.


Ex Officio Governor: Revd Gaenor Hockey

I came to live in Marnhull in September 2019 with my husband, 2 teenage daughters, our dog and cat to begin this post!

I have been in ordained ministry for 24 years having served in a variety of settings: Yeovil, Buckinghamshire, Devonport and Plymouth.

Before I was ordained I studied theology to postgraduate level and before that trained and worked as a staff nurse in Oxford.

In ministry I have always had practical involvement with the primary and secondary schools in my area- from setting up a lunch club, an after school club and building a spiritual garden to leading school ethos and spirituality development – as well as lead and facilitate school worship and RE.

I have had the privilege of working with Church and state schools of different sizes and settings and have always enjoyed working with both children, staff and families to see Christian faith and spirituality expressed creatively and meaningfully for each new generation.

As ex officio governor I look forward to supporting the school’s development and strengthening the links here between church and school life, so that there is greater mutual support, encouragement and building up of community life.

My special responsibilities at the school are Worship and RE, PSHE, Art, Music and Drama.


Headteacher: Mr James Stanford

I have been a teacher for 36 years.  I trained in Southampton before the National Curriculum and teaching was very different. Since then, I have worked in a range of schools from Devon to Hampshire, taking on my first senior leadership role in 1999. Before coming to St Gregory’s, I have been the headteacher of three schools over 20 years, ranging from a very small primary school to a large junior school with 96 children in each year. I much prefer the smaller schools for their family ethos and enjoy getting to know all the children and their families.


Staff Governor: Mrs Michelle Cook-Paine



Parent Governor: Mr Dan Warren

I have recently been appointed (September 2023) as a parent governor and am proud to hold this new role.

My eldest son attended St Gregory’s and my youngest has just started in reception.

I have lived in Marnhull since 2004 and enjoy helping to raise funds for the school through my work as a trustee for a local charity.

I am a director of a local building company and am keen to have a hands on approach to helping out with the governing body and the school itself.  I am also a coach of a local football team and enjoy playing football myself. 

I look forward to getting to know more parents throughout the school and working alongside the other governors and staff in discussing the exciting future ahead for the children and school.


Parent Governor: Mrs Lucy Chalke

I have been a parent at St Gregory’s since 2019 and have three children who all currently attend the school. I joined the governing body in September 2023. I am a teacher at a local primary school, teaching Year 3 at the moment.  


Associate Governor: Mrs Caroline Collard

I have lived in Marnhull for over 20 years during which time I have helped on various committees and been involved in various village activities. I was a PE teacher for many years with many different roles and responsibilities, only finishing a part time role at St Mary’s Shaftesbury a few years ago. I have taught all ages from reception to sixth form and have worked as a senior examiner for the moderating of A level practical PE and the written examinations. I am enthusiastic about learning everything about St Gregory’s school and hopefully contributing to the ethos and aims of this wonderful village school.

Clerk to the Governors: Currently Vacant

Governing Body Structure 2020

Governing Body Structure

Register of Business Interests

Register of Business Interests